Fiber Fusion NW Trip – Part 1: Seattle Knitting Guild

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I felt little butterflies of excitement in my stomach when I boarded the plane for my trip to the Pacific Northwest. The last time I was in Seattle was over 15 years ago. I can’t believe how time flies by! And there is so much to see, do and eat in Seattle!

I was on the way to zoom around the Seattle area on my own, be a guest speaker at the Seattle Knitting Guild (with 50+ members already RSVPed) and then drive 1/2 hour northeast of Seattle to Monroe to teach a full weekend of knitting classes at the Fiber Fusion Northwest event, staying with a local couple on an alpaca farm. It sounded like an awesome adventure with lots of opportunities to meet new people. I love meeting people and hearing their stories.

When I went through my checklist the night before my departure, it finally hit me how large a group we would be at the guild meeting. Large needles and large yarn wouldn’t cut it anymore to show how to work cables without a cable needle. I had to graduate to making a video and showing it via a projector. Eeks! I’ve never done that before…

Perhaps it was a good thing that it was already close to midnight because then your brain is too tired to object and throw all those doubts your way so that you just do it. So there I was, rigging my pocket camera to a mini tripod (that always fell forward because of the camera’s weight) and set it up close to my only Ottlight for “natural light” (a small desk lamp) and filmed my hands working a right and a left cable twist without a cable needle.

It was awkward to say the least! I was hunched over the camera/tripod contraption, squeezing my elbows together to keep it from falling over and tried to look natural knitting without casting any shadows. I was definitely not setup for this (note to self: figure out a manageable setup and record with true daylight). And then, just for the heck of it, I thought I could edit my videos a bit with a software my hubby was using for his tennis video analysis… Right – now well after midnight, I wanted to figure out an unfamiliar video app… What a smart cookie I am… Where is the voice of reason when you need it? After a 1/2 hour or so of fiddling around with it I had to settle for having been able to only mute the annoying clicking and static my mic seemed to love to record. That’s what would have to do for this time around.

4-st Cable Crossed Right

  1. Work to where sts need to be crossed
  2. Hold yarn to back
  3. Move RH needle in front of work and insert in 3rd & 4th sts
  4. Use RH index finger to pinch first 2 sts against RH needle
  5. Pull out LH needle
  6. Move LH needle in back of work and pick up “dropped”/pinched sts, being careful not to twist them
  7. Slip the 2 sts (3rd & 4th sts) from RH needle back to LH needle
  8. Knit the 4 now crossed sts

4-st Cable Crossed Left

  1. Work to where sts need to be crossed
  2. Hold yarn to back
  3. Move RH needle in back of work and insert in 3rd & 4th sts
  4. Use RH thumb to pinch first 2 sts against RH needle
  5. Pull out LH needle
  6. Move LH needle in front of work and pick up “dropped”/pinched sts, being careful not to twist them
  7. Slip the 2 sts (3rd & 4th sts) from RH needle back to LH needle
  8. Knit the 4 now crossed sts

After a short night and a cramped flight, I touched down at SeaTac (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport) Wednesday noon. After a short shuttle ride I stood at the rental car counter and was told that I would have a tiny Rio which was quite a bit smaller than what I had hopped for. But oh well, for the price and the few days, it would have to suffice. When I went downstairs to pick up the car though, dragging my two large bags behind me, I think the attendant might have felt pity for me because I ended up with a spacious, white Sonata Hyundai instead! Hurray, I loved it… until I started to drive around the Seattle neighborhoods. The streets were so narrow compared to what I was used to coming from Big Sky country (Colorado) with wide open spaces! Do you think holding your breath when passing an oncoming car makes you, i.e. your car, skinnier? I sure caught myself doing it a couple of times. After a few more hair-raising passes, I started to adjust and relax. At least I easily found my hotel, freshened up and was ready for my evening presentation for the Seattle Knitting Guild.

By now I was also getting hungry and was looking forward to an early Thai dinner with some of the Seattle Knitting Guild board members before my presentation. But before I could enjoy a delicious meal, I had to earn it BIG time because I needed to park in a super tight underground garage. I’ve never realized how many metal stilts it takes to hold up a building until I had to park my Sonata (big beast) between them. And those stilts always seemed to be placed exactly where I wanted to turn to or did they move when I didn’t look? I never quite figure that one out. In the end I had to see-saw for quite a few minutes in a delicate dance around those bare metal posts and I am proud to report that I managed to turn and park my beast for an easy exit without a single scratch. I was now so ready for dinner…

The dinner at Thai of Wedgwood was delicious and very reasonably priced. You might want to check it out if you’re in that area of Seattle (7520 35th Ave). My dinner company was awesome and made me feel right at home so that I was quite calm and looking forward to my presentation. The subject of my talk was to step outside of your comfort zone from time to time and to not be afraid to ask for things in order to grow.

SKG Presentation Cover

Over the years I have come across so many wonderful women with incredible know-how, skills and enthusiasm that are bursting to share, teach, design, or learn something new but always find tons of reasons for not doing it or are waiting to be asked – and never seem to be getting their chance. It can be something as simple as learning a new stitch or something more challenging like submitting their first design submission. The fear of the unknown or failure are so strong that it keeps them stuck, unhappy and even angry at themselves sometimes.

I used to be like that too and still am from time to time. But in a moment of “weakness” a few years back, I dared to pop the question and to my surprise received a positive response! I’ve made my first step in becoming a published knitwear designer. Since then I had many opportunities to stick my head in the sand, turn around or wait to be asked. But with each little success I’ve gotten stronger and have learned to banish or even replace my negative talk with positive thoughts and sometimes even daring proposals. The last few years have been quite an adventure and roller coaster ride with it’s ups and downs. But without the downs you wouldn’t know or enjoy the ups as much! 

Seattle Knitting Guild members

Just take as an example my speaking engagement with the Seattle Knitting Guild: I was going to arrive a few days early before the Fiber Fusion NW event and was wondering what I could fill my days with when I bumped into the Seattle Knitting Guild’s website. Unfortunately their monthly meetings were usually scheduled for the beginning of the month and I was going to be there mid-month. Now, I could have just made a note for another time but then gave myself a little kick and said, “Heck, why not ask and let them decide what to do instead of me making the decision for them?” And lo and behold, it happened that they were looking for something to do for their October meeting when my email popped up in their inbox! They were even willing to change their meeting time to a week later than usual to make it fit in with my traveling dates! I was able to help them and they helped me. I love it when things work out so well. Thank you so much, Seattle Knitting Guild board and members to be so flexible! I had a wonderful time and I hope I was able to share some interesting information and inspire you to dare to step out of the box and pop a question.

The lesson I’ve learned: if I hadn’t asked, nothing would have happened and I wouldn’t have made so many new, fun acquaintances… and had to scramble to figure out how to make a video… and navigate narrow streets in Seattle…

So keep this saying by Lao Tzu (a poet and philosopher of ancient China) in mind to give you some perspective and perhaps even the little bit of courage you need to step out of your box as you walk through your life:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Next up: I had a day off for sightseeing…by myself… in an unfamiliar city… Adventure, here I come!

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